Monday, May 30, 2011

The State of The Commonwealth

This past week we heard word that Phila CAO was in a "state of emergency" Phila CAO has 70 unfilled positions. Our managers went to a meeting and reported to us that the state may give these positions to other parts of the state if our stats did not improve. With "modern office" it would be easy to "farm out" Philly jobs to cheaper locations in the Commonwealth. The managers told of state workers stealing and this explains the renewed  stress on security.
Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer gives her view of the new DPW Administration and the policies of the Corbett Admin in general.
DPW Head Gary Alexander
Who knew the road to ruin was trod with toe cleavage? Or that a glimpse of no stocking could prove so shocking?

Harrisburg has long been a hotbed of temptation - for legislators fondling Other People's Money, sometimes in the middle of the night.

To maintain professional decorum, Secretary of Public Welfare Gary Alexander enforced a staff dress code: no skorts, flip-flops, tattered jeans, hats. For a meeting of his leadership team, Alexander insisted that men appear in suit and tie and that women wear "closed-toe shoes and nylons or tights."

Perhaps Alexander, an ordained deacon, wants to return his department, whose focus is supposed to be the poor, to the Mad Men era, except that might lead to midafternoon nips and nooky. His model of comportment seems more Ozzie and Harriet.

In the warmer months, most women under the age of 80 don't wear closed-toe shoes and nylons. Fashion editors, Michelle Obama, women perambulating the streets of Center City, nuns, all are now unqualified to be leaders at the DPW.

In announcing Gov. Corbett's top appointments, the press office made a point of listing how long each nominee had been married - good news, citizens! - almost all of them for decades. When being single, divorced, or gay is increasingly accepted, is this achievement relevant for public service?

Nylons and silver anniversaries are the window dressing of a troubling agenda. Our state governments are trying to will us back to a simpler, crueler time when rich men prosper with limited taxes and the poor can fend for themselves. Harrisburg and Trenton appear to be waging a battle over which can adopt the more regressive policies faster.

Pennsylvania House Republicans, seizing an opportunity after the revelation of Kermit Gosnell's West Philadelphia butcher shop and the state Department of Health's failure to properly inspect, this month approved legislation that would impose some of the nation's strictest, costliest operating regulations on Pennsylvania's 24 free-standing abortion clinics.

If the state Senate (where a far more sensible bill has been proposed) approves, the rules could force several sites to close, which appears to be the legislation's true intent.

"I thought conservatives were supposed to be against big government and intrusive, overburdening regulations," said Rep. Dan Frankel (D., Allegheny). "This bill would drive many women to seek risky, illegal abortions based on price - the same issue that drove desperate women to the Philadelphia house of horrors."

They're legislating us back to 1973.

House Republicans also proposed whacking a quarter of all AIDS program funding, and 9 to 11 percent of the DPW's child-care assistance, rape-crisis and domestic-violence services, food stamps, and breast cancer screening.

Fear not. The staff that helps fewer people in tough times will be properly attired. You will not be turned away by an employee in a skort.
As for negotiations. Little of bargaining but plenty of presentations.  It would be good to know how hard-core the Commonwealth is on our benefits and salary.
We will be trained on the Corbett changes in CDU at the end of June to implement in July. Its more work to save money but have not seen it so I will withhold judgement

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday May 27

Well, its now Friday before the Memorial Day weekend and the heat is now upon us. A cool wet Spring has ended and now its time to crank up the fans.
This week, was ok, we walked the dogs to the Alliance Jewish Cemetery in Rosenhayen. It was a nice evening and its a sobering experience. Jesus our pup really enjoyed the open space. It was cool to be home and still have the sun shining.
The Phillies are now scoring runs and beat the Reds 3 out of 4 including a 19 inning game, I had stopped watching when Jay Bruce hit a homerun in the 10th inning. Wilson Valdez pitched the 19th inning and won the game.
The Windermere is razed in West Philly
Speaking of Memoral Day Weekend, the Margarita Bash is on this weekend. This may be the last one ever since they are putting up the house for sale. It may be greener pastures for my friends (or the desert). I do not know.
Near Ferry Ave PATCO Stop
They razed the Windermere Apts in West Philly. There was a huge fire this past Winter and the whole aftermath was handled badly by most of the powers that be. It remains to be seen what will take its place. Right now its just another empty lot in West Philly.

Glad the Millville Police are cracking down on druggies and the prostitution problem here in Center City. As I famously reported on Facebook last week, the hookers and pimps hang around 2nd Street in the crack of dawn when I am catching the 408 bus. They made 34 arrests. Way to go MPD!!!! My tax dollars at work!!
Well, got to get dressed for work and stay cool. See you this weekend

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby Shower

My Stepdaughter had her baby shower last Saturday and it was very nice. Everyone enjoyed the event. Baby Crowe is due June 30th and it will be a boy!!

Levoy Reconstruction May 17-23

Building up the South Wall
Loading Bricks to be donated
Fath Building Day 120
Thunderbolt Construction Keeps an eye on Levoy! 
The Levoy reconstruction continues apace while on day 120 there has been no improvements done to the Fath Building next door. Meanwhile, the South Wall is being reinforced and bricks are being donated to the Palace of Depression reconstruction project in Vineland.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Strange Days

Taken on Main Rd on bus
This week has been quite strange. I was dealing with the ladies of the morning so to speak and the weirdo that came our house yesterday claiming to be an artist. Then someone at work was playing with my mind stealing my phone receivers at the end  of the day. I witnessed a double rainbow. The  state offered  some really draconian cuts to our benefits and wages. The weather has been raining off and on all week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

State Contract Negotations

Yesterday, the Commonwealth gave its initial contract proposals. The "highlights" are stated in the SEIU668 website.

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011 the SEIU 668 Negotiating Team had an initial contract negotiation meeting with the commonwealth. The meeting was preceded by an in depth prep meeting of the Negotiating Team.
The commonwealth and SEIU 668 presented their initial proposals to each other. Both sides were given the opportunity to seek clarification of the proposals and present their initial stance on particular proposals.
Key highlights of the commonwealth’s proposal include:
·         Require a give back of the 4% general pay increase from 2010
·         Limit healthcare  employer contribution to $400 bi-weekly
·         Forces employees to take rolling furloughs
·         Eliminate two holiday days
·         Severely limit sick and vacation leave
·         Delete preservation of bargaining unit work language, severely crippling the union’s ability to prevent privatization
The Commonwealth will not allow employees to accumulate sick time. Ok now what would be the incentive to save sick time?
The Commonwealth is NOW reporting a 500 million dollar SURPLUS!
This means they are just using the economic situation as a golden opportunity to slash wages and benefits.
They want to be able to privatize at will without discussion with the union. I have seen that privatizing in the long  run does not save money but looses money due to less accountability.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Levoy Reconstruction Restarts!

Crew at work.
The Levoy started construction this past week. This is quite the good news. crews were on scene working on the building that partially collapsed during a restoration project in January. According to the Levoy Theater Preservation Society Board, the set back forced project leaders to conduct more inspections and sort through new plans. Here is a TV report from News 40 about the start.
I will share updates as they come.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11

/tune to catch the bus
Samosa Yumm.
Good morning today is Wednesday morning around quarter of five in the morning another nice spring day arrives.In today's news the Singer Bobby Rydell will be performing at the Landis theater on July 9. I see we get some top-flight entertainment out here in Cumberland County. The dude was a has-been when my brother was in elementary school and he sat there and sang Christmas rocking horse I mean let's get real. Hope the Levoy does better than him and Bernadette Peters.
Speaking of the Levoy, I hear that construction may resume as early as this week. That is a welcome sign for sure.
The new admin is going to change alot of my welfare job effective July 1st. Also the State will be meeting with my union SEIU668 Tuesday May 17. Lets see what happens
Well, no other news to report but the baby shower is Sat May 21st in Wynnewood.

Monday, May 09, 2011

The First Week in May is Ok.

Good morning this early Monday morning. I have not written in my blog in in about a week so here is summation. but we just passed first off I went to see Jean Wheatland with John and Pat in New York City. It was a nice sunny spring day in Manhattan where we saw lots of different things and then went to the concert and Tom was enjoyable Steve Miller came and showed up as a surprise. Jane sang Our Lips are Sealed from her GoGo's days of the early 80's. We took the train then Jon drove me home in Millville. I got to sleep for an hour then got up to catch the 4:15am crack of dawn 408 bus so,
Jane with Les Paul Trio
Pat and I last Monday in NYC
In Harrisburg for Rally
Over 3,000 Strong on May 3rd
I could catch the bus to Harrisburg for a huge labor rally being held in response to Gov. Corbett's plan 2012 budget which would cut education funding 50% in the next year.Also his budget will mean in a 4% pay cut and more co-pays for medical. Over 3000 people attended the rally it was very hot I got a good sunburn. I got some really pretty cool pictures of the day
after that I then went to work for the rest of the week which was mainly uneventful but very very busy of course. Weds night, I stayed over in Philly and we saw the Perfect Storm. This movie was very entertaining. Friday after work, the 5:55 bus had a breakdown and never showed up. I go the next bus at 7pm.
New Hotel Near Pat's House
7pm Friday
Mother's Day at Wildflower
Enjoying Mother's Day at Wildflower
after that I then went to work for the rest of the week which was mainly uneventful but very very busy of course. Weds night, I stayed over in Philly and we saw the Perfect Storm. This movie was very entertaining. Friday after work, the 5:55 bus had a breakdown and never showed up. I go the next bus at 7pm.  Saturday we got some stuff done with the garden since  it was  nice outside. Sunday Jone and Densie paid us a visit for Mother's day. Jon fixed the flushing mechanism by using spare parts we had in our house. He sure is good at figuring stuff like that out. We next went to Wildflower., the vegan food spot at the Village on High. Boy is the food good. Next Sunday Carolyne will have an Ostara Yoga class next to Wildflower. The weather is supposed to be nice. In fact next week there is no rain in the forecast if you can believe that!  we saw a president Obama in the 60 min. episode and they are people on websites saying that Osama Bin Laden has been dead for years. I have seen the website called infowars which I must say is very paranoid. I bet this Alex Jones dude is making a pretty confortable living off these paranoid stories.
Well, got to catch the bus now...
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Monday, May 02, 2011

Fun with My iPhone

Last Days in April

Waiting for the Bus 4-27
SEIU668 Breakout 4-26
This Hurt to get rid of!
Well, this week has moved along fast. Tuesday our union SEIU Local 668 had a breakout. This was in response to the Governor not starting contract negations for a new contract. The old contract ends June 30th of THIS year. Next Tuesday is Lobby Day in Harrisburg. I plan on going.
I had infected hangnail that I got taken care of by the Dr and boy it hurt. There is the Photo before I went to the Dr.

Osama bin Laden Killed in Pakistan!!!

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?Image via Wikipedia

It took almost 10 years but the bastard is dead!
Here is President Obama announcing the news.!

Let’s just be happy that Osama Bin Laden has already found out that there aren’t going to be any virgins!!
The latest is that this man is in Davy Jones Locker..
WASHINGTON – A U.S. official says Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea.
After bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan, senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said. Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.
The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security matters, did not immediately say where that occurred.

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